January 15, 2015

Try Something New: Shall We Dance? (2004)

Shall we dance posterA.jpgDo you ever feel like you're in a rut; doing the same thing day in an day out? As much as we all crave stability in our lives, it also tends to breed contempt when we finally get it. Sure,you may not have to worry about looking for a job once you find one, but then at some point you become complacent in that stable job that you once desired more than anything. We can't help it, we as human beings just can't shake our innate desire to experience new things, despite being conditioned over time to crave stability. So, as a result, we seek new opportunities and experiences to fulfill that innate desire that we have; especially when we feel like we are in a rut. The movie Shall We Dance? (2004) is a great reminder that it's ok to not be content with being in a rut, and even more importantly, it's ok to do something about it.

In the movie Shall We Dance? (2004), a settled lawyer named John Clark (Richard Gere) finally takes it upon himself to try something new after becoming tired of the rut that was his life. That something was a dance class that he just so happened to see everyday on his train commute to and from work; which was originally tempting because of the beautiful and intriguing Paulina (Jennifer Lopez) staring out the window everyday as he rode the train home. Unexpectedly, dancing  revived him in a way that nothing else had in a long time. He began to have a zest for life again. However, he first needed to confront the fact that he was both lying and deceiving his wife and family before he could truly be free of conscience.

In the beginning of the movie when John is celebrating his birthday, he is contemplating his life's choices and considering his happiness. When he finally acknowledges that he isn't happy and that his life has sort of fallen into a rut, he boldly decides to take a risk to do something about it. That was the day that he first walked into Miss Mitzi's Dance School and it forever changed his life. Even though he kept his dancing a secret and often lied to his family to cover up where he was, he was happy and even made new friends. At the same time, however, his wife Beverly (Susan Sarandon) was growing more and more suspicious of his actions and change of mood, prompting her to hire a private investigator.

In the end, John was forced to come clean with his wife about his dancing. He also learned to be more honest and inclusive with his longtime partner. While he was initially attracted to Miss Mitzi's Dance School because of something that was missing in his life, ultimately dancing there helped him to appreciate what he already had at home.

That's the beauty of trying something new. Whatever compels you to try something in the first place is often the catalyst that will help you grow as a person. It was true for the character John, but I also believe the same is true for us as well. So, go try something new!

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